Happy New Year! As your typical thoughtful introvert, I often muse and reflect on the past. Here’s some of the highlights and lowlights of my 2015.
My First Internship in the District
In the spring semester of my Sophomore year, I had the pleasure of interning at Girls on the Run DC, a nonprofit that runs an after-school running program from young girls 3rd to 8th grade. I joined the organization because I believed in their mission to empower young girls to believe in their limitless potential. I know from my own experience. Running is an empowering experience that build confidence and self-esteem, and thus a powerful tool to build up young girls. GOTR-DC is a positive, empowering environment of strong, ambitious, encouraging women. As their program assistant intern, I managed social media and email communications and aided in graphic design. I’m most proud of my work for their end-of-season 5K, where I designed the flyer, map, and lanyards and completed a seven-week promotional social media campaign. My internship was a lot of hard work (I’d never worked 9-5 before; talk about exhausting!), but ultimately, a valuable experience. Working with GOTR-DC boosted my self-confidence in my work abilities as a woman.
“There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain!” Chi Alpha Winter Retreat was life-changing and transformative, on a spiritual level. God released me from a sin that had been tempting and haunting me for years. Afterwards, I finally gained clarity and peace of mind that has lasted to this day. For more on my experience at Winter Retreat, see the following two blog posts: XAWR Part 1 and Part 2. For me, rereading the posts stirs up warm feelings of gratitude. It amazes me how much the Holy Spirit moved during that trip. Better yet, He still moves in miraculous ways to this day. God never ceases to amaze me.
For the past two years or so, I had two very special mentors in my life. These two people supported me in my work in ministry. They invested countless lunches and coffee dates to listen to me when I needed advice. They poured so much of life and love and prophetic word into me. I am forever immensely grateful to God for placing them in my life, but I also hate it when God only puts someone in your life for a season. As I am not the biggest fan of change, the adjustment was rather difficult, not seeing them all the time. Luckily, God never stops providing. He brought new mentors into my life at the end of 2015. I am excited to see what new relationships blossom in 2016.
My first Missions Trip
In March, I went with a Chi Alpha missions team to Brunswick, Georgia to serve Family Life Church. Prior to the trip, we support raised to fund the trip. Each person needed to raise $600. This being my first time support raising, I didn’t know what to expect. I prayed over and sent letter to my church and family members. Suddenly, people gave more than I expected. I was overwhelmed by everyone’s gratitude, support and affirmation. God provided over $1000; no only could I go on the trip, but I had excess to help my other team members, contribute to other trip expenses, and give to Family Life Church. My first support raising experience taught me that with faith I can trust God with my finances. Even in the midst of my doubts and disbelief, He will provide because that is the good Heavenly Father He is!
In Brunswick, We led a children’s Vacation Bible School, served the homeless, went on a prayer walk around the city, and went door-to-door inviting people to church. As my first missions trip, this experience changed the way I see missions. I learned how God’s work can be fun to the point it doesn’t feel like work. I left in a state of euphoria, on a high of happiness. When you do the work God ordained you to do, he brings blessings of safety and joy and a supreme satisfaction you can only find in Him. After this trip, I felt affirmed and encouraged to continue to do ministry work.
A New Relationship
This part is probably the hardest to reflect on because of all the nostalgia. At the beginning of the summer, I met someone special. I never would have seen it coming. Looking back, I laugh at how God clearly had planned it that our paths would cross. He was ever-present in our relationship the entire time. Though we spent most of our time long distance, Skype dates, phone calls, texts kept us close and felt just as meaningful.
He changed the way my ideas of dating with the intentions of marriage. I don’t need to worry about finding the perfect man because as he showed me in this relationship, He has that covered. He’s a great matchmaker. Christians shouldn’t just date for fun, but with a sense of seriousness. Don’t date just anyone for the companionship, but wait for God to give you someone who is marriage potential even if it doesn’t turn out that way. It didn’t turn out that way for me, but I learned so much about marriage and love and aligning such with my relationship with God. I wish I could see that special person again today just so I could thank him for all that he taught me.
Lost Loved Ones
To put it bluntly, August was tough. I lost two relatives to cancer, one who knew the Lord and another who did not. Meanwhile, my cousin had issues with her diabetes and ended up losing her leg. A few months later, a couple of weeks ago actually, I then lost another relative to old age. They say you grieve differently when you get older. I thought it would be easier, but I find it much more difficult to see people pass away now because I understand death better. Death reminds me that eventually I will see many of my loved ones pass away. It became so easy to get stuck in a death rut, right when I went back to school.
To soothe my heart I did the only thing I knew to do, I turned to my bible. God always know what to say. I sought out scripture to help me make sense of all the deaths around me. I prayed for God to send some comforting word. One night, He came to me with the comfort I needed, and I wrote this in the notes section of my phone: “In times of grief and hurting, you can take comfort in knowing this is not the end of the story. Their story continues through how the people they touched share what they learned from them.”
Let me stories above be my testimonies to God’s goodness in 2015. No, every day was not perfect with sunshine and happiness, but everyday God was still good. If I didn’t learn else anything from my experiences in 2015, I learned that God is real, and He is here, and He is providing! I have no reason to believe He won’t do it again in 2016. All in all, I come into this new year with no anxiety, but peace in my heart and a smile for excitement for the blessings to come. Now I know what you are all waiting for … New Year’s Resolutions! Don’t worry. I didn’t want to make this post any longer than it already is. Check out my next post for my 2016 goals.
Happy New Year to all my readers! I appreciate your support this year, and pray for many blessings for you in the future!